Of all the offseason comings and goings for the Seahawks, perhaps none was more significant than Byron Maxwell signing with Philadelphia in free agency. The Seahawks hoped to keep their starting right cornerback, but simply couldn't afford to match the Eagles' offer with other big contracts on the books or coming up in the next couple of years, so as a result they're looking to replace a valuable member of their secondary.
Cary Williams, one of Seattle's biggest free agent signings this offseason, appears to be leading the competition to replace Maxwell, and Seahawks coaches speak highly of the veteran who has previously been a starter both in Baltimore and Philadelphia, but he'll still have to earn that starting job in camp. Tharold Simon, who started six games last season, playoffs included, will try to push Williams for that spot once he returns from a shoulder injury, and also keep an eye on Tye Smith, a fifth-round pick out of Towson in whom the Seahawks see big potential.
|Cary Williams (free agent), Will Blackmon (free agent), Tye Smith (fifth-round pick)
Byron Maxwell (free agency)
Initial 53-man roster included five cornerbacks: Sherman, Maxwell, Jeremy Lane, Tharold Simon and Marcus Burley
What's At Stake In Training Camp:
Right cornerback is one of the few starting jobs that opened up in the offseason, and it should be a fun competition to watch. Additionally there will be a good battle for the nickel spot, especially if Jeremy Lane isn't back from arm and knee injuries by the time camp starts. Veteran Will Blackmon, who spent time with the Seahawks in 2013, saw most of the first-team action in OTAs and minicamp, but Marcus Burley will battle for that job as well.
Maxwell's huge contract with the Eagles was great for him, and a testament to Seattle's ability to develop cornerbacks, but his departure, which comes a year after Brandon Browner signed with New England in free agency, tests Seattle's ability to continue to identify and develop young cornerbacks without investing early-round picks. So far the Seahawks have had a lot of success in the late rounds, most notably in the form of fifth-round pick Richard Sherman, a three-time, first-team All-Pro, as well as sixth-round picks Lane and Maxwell. Tharold Simon, another fifth-round pick, showed flashes while filling in for Maxwell last season, but he and other young players like Smith will have to continue to develop in order for the Seahawks to stay strong and deep at corner in the long run.
A player-by-player look at Seattle's cornerbacks ahead of the Seahawks' 2015 training camp.